Where is the cheapest coffee in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, the price differences for a cup of coffee are enormous, even within the cantons. An investigation has determined the costs by comparing Swiss regions.

Where is the cheapest coffee in Switzerland?
The price of a coffee in Switzerland differs dramatically in each canton. Photo:

Coffee is a popular beverage in Switzerland, with the Swiss drinking 1110 cups each in 2017, which is an average of three coffees a day per capita. But for many coffee lovers, the price of the same coffee varies dramatically based on where they order it. In Ticino, you can get a large black coffee for two Swiss francs, while in Zurich you often pay double or even three times the price for the drink.

The association Cafetier Suisse and Gastro Suisse has reported coffee prices in accordance with region and gross hourly local wages to determine how long you have to work for a cup of coffee. , reports the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. 

The report reveals, that a Swiss employee has to work the longest for a coffee in eastern Switzerland where the average coffee costs 4.17 Swiss francs – around seven minutes compared to five minutes in Ticino where coffee is around 2.70 Swiss francs on average. In Zurich the average coffee is 4.35 Swiss francs, and can for purchased for the local average of 6.6 minutes of work.

Read also: Three Swiss cities in global top ten for quality of living

A cafe in Ticino, the canton that is home to Switzerland's cheapest coffee. Photo:


According to the survey, the price discrepancy is based on profit margins and the purchasing power of café owners in different cantons. The research concluded that the coffee prices in the German-speaking regions are most expensive and are more often over 4 Swiss francs. Meanwhile, in the midlands and around Lake Geneva they are significantly less. The Canton Ticino was home to Switzerland’s cheapest coffee. 

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Hans-Peter Oettli, President of Cafetier Suisse told the Tages-Anzeiger, believes “that the low prices in the Ticino and around Lake Geneva have to do with the much cheaper competition on the borders”.

“The price differences can also be seen within the individual urban and rural areas, where coffee is cheaper in rural parts,” says Oettli.

Below is a regional comparison of coffee prices and minutes worked (based on the local wage):

  1. East Switzerland: Average coffee price is 4.17 Swiss Francs (7.1 minutes of work)
  2. Central Switzerland: Average coffee price is 4.20 Swiss Francs (6.8 minutes of work)
  3. Northwest Switzerland: Average coffee price is 4.29 Swiss Francs (6.7 minutes of work)
  4. Zurich: Average coffee price is 4.35 Swiss Francs (6.6 minutes of work)
  5. Espace Midland: Average coffee price is 3.93 Swiss Francs (6.4 minutes of work)
  6. Lake Geneva Region: Average coffee price is 3.24 Swiss Francs (5.1 minutes of work)
  7. Ticino: Average coffee price is 2.70 Swiss Francs (5.1 minutes of work)

Across all regions, coffee in Switzerland costs an average price of 4 Swiss Francs. 




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Three scenarios: How Switzerland plans to fight a Covid resurgence

Swiss government has devised three contingency plans that could be implemented to fight a new outbreak. What are they?

Three scenarios: How Switzerland plans to fight a Covid resurgence
Authorities want to prevent overcrowded hospitals if new wave comes. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

Although Switzerland relaxed a number of coronavirus rules from June 26th and 28th, “the pandemic is not over”, as Health Minister Alain Berset said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Berset said Switzerland should not become complacent, with last summer a warning against feeling that the battle is won. 

He added, however, that the new wave is unlikely to be as large as the previous ones due to the country’s vaccination campaign.

This situation leaves a degree of uncertainty for which the government wants to be prepared as well as possible, Berset noted.

The Federal Council established a “just-in-case” procedure on Wednesday for three possible scenarios that could take place in the autumn and winter. 

These plans focus mainly on the rapid detection of variants and the continuation of vaccination, testing, and tracing.

The best-case scenario: status quo

In this scenario, the number of cases remains at a low level, though small outbreaks are still possible.

The number of infections may increase slightly due to seasonal factors — the virus is known to spread slower in summer and faster in autumn and winter—  but does not place a significant burden on the health system.

If this happens, no measures beyond those already in place would be necessary.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Is Switzerland lifting its Covid-19 restrictions too quickly?

Not so good: more contaminations

In this second scenario, there is an increase in the number of cases in autumn or winter.

There may be several reasons for this, for example the large proportion of unvaccinated people, seasonal effects — people tend to stay indoors together in cold weather, and contaminations are easier — or the appearance of new, more infectious variants.

This situation could overburden the health system and require the reintroduction of certain measures, such as the obligation to wear a mask outdoors.

Booster vaccinations may also be necessary.

The worst: new virus mutations

In scenario three, one or more new variants appear, against which the vaccine or the post-recovery immunity are less effective or no longer effective.

A new wave of pandemic emerges, requiring strong intervention by the public authorities and a new vaccination.

Which of the three scenarios is most likely to happen?

The government hasn’t said, but judging by the comments of health officials, the latter two are the strongest contenders.

Firstly, because the highly contagious Delta mutation, which is spreading quickly through many countries, is expected to be dominant in Switzerland within a few weeks.

It is expected that the virus will spread mostly to those who are not vaccinated and, to a lesser degree, to people who have only had one shot of the vaccine, according to Andreas Cerny, epidemiologist at the University of Bern

READ MORE: How Switzerland plans to contain the Delta variant

Another concern is related to the appearance of the new variants which could be as or possibly even more contagious than Delta and not as responsive to the current vaccines.

The government said the best chance of avoiding the second or third scenarios is to ensure people are vaccinated. 

“Widespread vaccination of the population is crucial to relieve the burden on the healthcare system and to manage the epidemic. A possible increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the autumn will largely depend on the proportion of the population that has been vaccinated,” the government wrote in a press statement.

The government has also indicating it is preparing for booster vaccinations to take place in 2022 and are encouraging cantons to keep their vaccine infrastructures in place.